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While U.S. wants to defund fire science, Canada seeks to boost its effort

by Bill Gabbert, Wildfire Today |

While the Joint Fire Science Program in the United States is slated to be defunded by the Administration in the current budget proposal for fiscal year 2020, Canada intends to ramp up its program.

The Government of Canada has released the Blueprint for Wildland Fire Science in Canada (2019-2029). Led by the Canadian Forest Service, the Blueprint provides a national consensus view of Canada’s key wildland fire research priorities over the next 10 years. It also makes 15 recommendations intended to guide science investments, attract new collaboration, and align national research efforts.

These recommendations are broadly focused on:

1. Increasing national capacity for wildland fire research through new investments into academic programs, public sector science, and postsecondary networks;

2. Recognizing Indigenous knowledge as an equal and complementary way of knowing wildland fire,  to inform future fire management policies and practices;

3. Creating new knowledge exchange mechanisms to improve the way science and technology is shared, understood, and implemented;

4. Creating new multidisciplinary, multi-partner, collaborative research opportunities; and

5. Improving national governance and coordination of science activities through development of a national research agenda and the creation of a national coordinating committee.